Dad ‘least deserving person’ to lose his son
The father of the popular Marcoola teacher who died in a freak skating accident has thanked the first person at the tragic scene for gifting the family "48 hours to say goodbye".
Frank Pinto, 62, said he had no idea how long his son Chris laid unconscious - and alone - on the concrete at the secluded Mudjimba skatepark after the tragic fall.
But he said the quick actions of postie Lachlan Brown who found his son allowed the family to spend 48 hours in hospital to say goodbye.
"If Christopher just died he would've just gone to a morgue," Mr Pinto said. "Lachlan put him in a recovery position and he did everything he could to help."
The much-loved teacher spent two days in a coma at Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital until his life support was turned off and his body gave in last Thursday night.
He was 32.
Mr Pinto, who lives in Palmview, said his son spent his last couple of days surrounded by family and friends including his partner Jess Claassens, his mother Karen Wilkinson, his stepmum Michelle Gray, Jess's mum Liz, her sister Beth, her brother Baden and his wife Jasmine, his sister Marissa and her partner Kristy and fellow teachers Adam Holman and Karla Curran.
He said Chris's stepsister Deanne and her son and his stepbrother Gareth and wife and three children were also there on the first day.
"We were all with him playing music and talking to him until his heart stopped beating," he said.
"If it wasn't for Lachlan we wouldn't have been able to do that."
Paramedics were called to the skate park about 2.45pm on Tuesday when they received a report of a man with severe head injuries.
Ms Claassens was waiting at Pacific Paradise State Primary School, where the pair worked as casual teachers, to be picked up by her partner.
When he failed to show, she was driven to the skate park off Taylor St to check on him.
Mr Pinto said when two ambulances drove out of the street, Ms Claassens knew "what had happened".
Mr Brown, 28, of Noosa, told the Daily he had rolled Chris Pinto onto his side and told him to keep breathing while his friend Ellie Shaw called paramedics when they realised the skater was in trouble.
"I could tell it was serious but you really don't want to think about the worst case scenario," he said. "You just think 'I hope he's OK'. "
Chris Pinto and his fiancee moved to Marcoola from Sydney less than a year ago for a better life, to own their own home and bring up children together.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the devastated fiancee afford IVF treatment, so she could have "a piece of Chris in her life forever".
Ms Claassens took to social media on Saturday to share with her followers that a clinic had been able to freeze his sperm.
"Chris was so so excited and passionate about being a Dad in the near future, we wanted nothing more than to have a child together and spend the rest of our lives ridiculously in love," she said.
Mr Pinto, a procurement manager, said it was thanks to Lachlan that Ms Claassens could conceive her late fiancee's child.
"He's given us the opportunity to retrieve Christopher's sperm and Jess the opportunity to have a baby," he said.
Mr Pinto said the pair met about three years ago and engaged a year later.
When COVID-19 put them on Jobseeker payments they started up their own home-baking business, called Coast Keto, to make ends meet.
Mr Pinto said he was overwhelmed by how much his son has touched the life of others.
He said he had lost a "good mate" but was thankful for the time they had together.
"The first night (following the fall) I could barely sleep," he said.
"All I could see was Christopher at the skate park. And then suddenly I had that thought 'You know what Frank, you had so many wonderful experiences with him that he's always going to be with you'."
The proud father phoned to thank Mr Brown just a day after the accident - an act the young postie will never forget.
"I'm so so touched and appreciative of Frank putting the effort in and reaching out and thanking me," he said. "I can't personally describe how much of a difference it made.
"I was upset about (the accident) and I cried a lot but when Frank said 'thank you' that changed a lot.
"I don't think Frank had to do that.
"He seemed like the least deserving person to lose his son. He gave me so much peace of mind.
"Chris is going to be with me forever. But at least now I want to make sure that's in a positive way."
Anyone who would like to help can find the GoFundMe page here.